Managed money, or large commodity funds, raised their net long live cattle futures positions to their largest point in 1 ½ months during the week ended Tuesday, while commercial traders extended their net short position to their largest in more than a year.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its weekly Commitments of Traders report Friday that managed money had extended its long cattle position to 104,114 contracts, up 9,420, or 9.95%, from 94,694 the previous week.
The CFTC also said commercial traders’ net short position had reached 169,553 contracts, up 10,815, or 6.81%, from 158,738 the previous week.
Swap dealers, those who facilitate cash or over-the-counter transactions, had raised their net long position to 89,290 contracts, up 4,261, or 5.01%, from 85,029 the previous week.
The CFTC said managed money reached its new position by adding 8,211 long positions, filling 1,209 short positions and putting on 532 new spread positions. This left them representing 31.5% of total long open interest and 3.2% of total short open interest.
Commercial traders arrived at their new position by liquidating 20 long positions and adding 10,795 short positions, leaving them in control of 7.1% of total long open interest and 53.2% of total short open interest.
Swap dealers arrived at their new position by adding 4,064 long positions and covering 197 shorts while unwinding three spread positions. This left them holding 25.5% of total long open interest and 1.2% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total live cattle open interest during the CFTC week rose 17,822 contracts, or 5.09%, to 367,837 contracts from 350,015.
The most-active Jun contract rose $4.15 per cwt, or 3.88%, during the week, even leaving a gap on daily bar charts, to close at $111.05 per cwt on Tuesday, compared with $106.90 the previous Tuesday.
FUNDS EXTEND SHORT CORN POSITION
At the same time, managed money extended its net short corn position by 56,766 contracts, or 207.5%, to its largest in 2 ½ months, going to 84,118 contracts from 27,352 the previous week.
Commercial traders lowered their net short corn position to 280,428 contracts during the CFTC week from 321,807, a decline of 41,379, or 12.9%.
The CFTC said managed money arrived at its new corn position by liquidating 2,001 long positions and adding 544,765 short positions and 592 spread positions. This left them representing 14.8% of total long open interest and 20.7% of total short positions.
Commercial traders got to where they were by adding 6,905 long positions and covering 34,474 short positions, leaving them in control of 22.5% of total long open interest and 42.3% of total short open interest.
The CME Group said total corn open interest for the week rose 41,065 contracts, or 2.98%, to 1.418 million from 1.377 million.
CASH CATTLE STEADY TO UP $5
Cash cattle markets last week were steady to up $5 with trading at $128 to $134 per cwt in the Southern Plains and up $2.50 to $5 in Nebraska at $133 to $136.50, mostly $134. Dressed-basis trading was up $2 at $212.
Average fed cattle exchange auction prices Wednesday were $5.00 per cwt higher at $133.31, versus $128.31 a week earlier.
The USDA’s choice cutout Friday was down $0.66 per cwt at $221.62, while select was off $0.22 at $215.55. The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.07 from $6.51 with 71 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $132.46 per cwt, up $0.88. This compares with Friday’s Mar settlement of $133.37, down $0.32.